US Citizen Face Charges For Presenting Blockchain And Crypto In North Korea

By Warren Hayes | December 1, 2019

The US prosecutors have brought into custody Virgil Griffith – who departed from America to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in an attempt to present a deck on the power of crypto and blockchain to find a way around sanctions. 

Specifically revealed on November 29, the 39-year-old US citizen has been brought into custody at the Los Angeles International Airport, and will reportedly receive charges for his conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

If found guilty, Griffith could face up to 20 years behind bars. 

“As alleged, Virgil Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions. In allegedly doing so, Griffith jeopardized the sanctions that both Congress and the president have enacted to place maximum pressure on North Korea’s dangerous regime.” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman remarked regarding the news. 

Per the IEEPA, US citizen are not legally allowed to export any services, or technology to the DPRK, unless they have managed to acquire authorization from the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Griffith, a US individual based at Singapore before his arrest, was prohibited by the U.S. Department of State to set foot on the DPRK. Griffith ignored the ban and went ahead with his plan to present at the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference, violating the U.S. sanctions against the DPRK.

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